You’ve probably noticed burlap sacks full of salmon-colored spuds at the market: Sweet potato season is in full swing. But before you set your browser’s search function ablaze with entries for sweet potato soups, casseroles, fries, and pies, we’d like to implore you to try something different. Here are eight less predictable (and totally ingenious!) ways to use sweet potatoes this year.

1. Sweet Potato Butter

Jam lovers will jump at this seasonally appropriate toast-topper: sweet potato, reduced down to a thick spread, colored with fall spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg.
Photo and recipe from Happy Healthy Mama

2. Brown Butter Sweet Potato Alfredo

Here’s a lesser-known tip: Because of their starchiness, sweet potatoes can play a supporting role, lending a creamy texture to dishes like spaghetti Alfredo without the fat and calories of cream or butter.
Photo and recipe from Table for Two

3. Cajun-Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus

Adding a sweet potato to your next batch of hummus will give it more body (not to mention a festive fall color). Blend in Creole or Cajun seasoning for a boost in flavor.
Photo and recipe from Healthy. Happy. Life.

4. Sweet Potato, Blackstrap, and Whiskey Ice Cream with Torched Marshmallows

If you like sweet potato casserole (heck, even if you don’t), you’ll probably love this sweet potato ice cream with blackstrap molasses, torched marshmallows, and bourbon whiskey.
Photo and recipe from Sift & Whisk

5. Whole Wheat Pancakes

The secret to soft, moist whole-wheat pancakes? Blending half a cup of mashed sweet potato into the batter.
Photo and recipe from PopSugar

6. Sweet Potato Flan

Utilize sweet potatoes (especially leftover ones!) as a strategic ingredient in flan, where they contribute a silky texture to the custardy dessert.
Photo and recipe from Food52

7. Sweet Potato Bagels

Bagels, for all practical purposes, are carbohydrate receptacles, designed to reassure us at the start of each day that everything’s going to be A-OK. So why not make them even more comforting with the addition of starchy sweet potatoes?
Photo and recipe from A Beautiful Mess

8. Chocolate Sweet Potato Pudding

Chocolate pudding is traditionally made with milk and flour, but if you’re avoiding dairy or gluten (or both), the smooth weight of sweet potato makes for a seamless substitute.
Photo and recipe from Whisking & Writing; header image from Sift & Whisk

Susannah Chen is a San Francisco–based freelance writer. When she’s not cooking or writing, she’s on the hunt to find the world’s best chilaquiles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
See more articles